Student Residences

One option when you're thinking of moving abroad for a little while and you don't want to have to buy accounting software in order to figure out how you're going to afford rent, food, and exploring on your piddling little fruit picker budget, is to stay in a student residence. Now, this option is generally limited to people who have also enrolled in a study program at the university or college they intend to stay at, but sometimes schools open up some of their residences to travelers during the relatively slow summer term, so check before signing up for a program just to get a place to live.

There are advantages and drawbacks to any housing plan, and living in student residences is no exception. If you've enrolled in a program you could be stuck in the same city for up to four years unless you can secure a transfer, which could seriously curb your explorer's lifestyle. On the other hand, it removes the need to buy an expensive global SIM card for your cell phone because most residences offer reasonable plans to students through local telecom companies in order to placate hovering helicopter parents.

Dorms are an excellent place to stay if you're young and looking to meet other people. Students staying in the same dorm tend to have their own social groups, parties and trips, so if you can put up with your Scottish neighbor's obsession with playing loud Celtic music at 3am while you're trying to study, you could end up making friends for life. Additionally, a lot of the other students in the dorm will be locals, so you'll have a convenient source of people to show you around.

Obviously a major drawback in living in a traditional dorm is the lack of privacy. You'll have to share bathrooms, TV rooms, showers, and pay phones, and probably even your bedroom with your fellow students. While this can bring you closer together if you're compatible it can also drive you nuts if you're not. For this reason some schools offer less traditional housing setups like apartments where you share a kitchen or regular dorm rooms with contemporary bathroom vanities in them so you can brush your teeth in peace.

For most people, though, the positives outweigh the negatives. Who wants to look for an apartment in a strange city all by themselves when they can just check the "residence space required" box on the enrollment form? Because not only do you have to find a place, you have to figure out what to do with it while you're away for summer term. And odds are the place you find will be empty and you'll have to find furniture for it, which you'll have to turn around and resell when your program is done. It's much easier to rent a pre-furnished residence room that you can customized with some stick-on wall sayings, a poster or two, and a couple of floor lamps.

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Sunday, July 21, 2024